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Mechanisms for generating toroidal rotation in tokamaks without external momentum input

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Recent experiments on DIII-D [J. L. Luxon, Nucl. Fusion 42, 614 (2002)] and National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) [M. Ono, Nucl. Fusion 40, 557 (2000)] have focused on investigating mechanisms of driving rotation in fusion plasmas. The so-called intrinsic rotation is generated by an effective torque, driven by residual stresses in the plasma, which appears to originate in the plasma edge. A clear scaling of this intrinsic drive with the H-mode pressure gradient is observed. Coupled with the experimentally inferred pinch of angular momentum, such an edge source is capable of producing sheared rotation profiles. Intrinsic drive is also possible directly in the core, although the physics mechanisms are much more complex. Another option which is being explored is the use of nonresonant magnetic fields for spinning the plasma. It is found beneficially that the torque from these fields can be enhanced at low rotation, which assists in spinning the plasma from rest, and offers increased resistance against plasma slowing. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.

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